Albus Dumbledore was the most Dumbledore person to ever have Dumbledored. Dude ran a school full of death and whimsy, and he did it with smiles and cryptic comments. Not just anyone can do that. He was without peer. We will never see another like him in our lifetime. Put simply, no one has ever Dumbledored as hard as he, and no one ever will.
So what exactly made this man so bizarrely and hilariously inimitable? Well:
30. Definitely knew Harry & Co. were up to SOMETHING in their first year, but rather than dissuade them from this dangerous course of action he was basically just like “Well we’ll make this a learning experience.”
29. Allowed a fourteen-year-old boy to take part in a magical death tournament he didn’t sign up for because a quasi-sentient goblet said he had to.
28. Hired Lockhart.
27. Left a freshly orphaned baby on a doorstep and decided he’d done all he could do there.
26. Three twelve-year-olds figured out where the Chamber of Secrets was before he did.
25. Was definitely eating Harry’s candy while Harry was lying unconscious in the hospital wing after fighting Quirrell.
24. Openly defied the Minister of Magic (by taking the fall for a student uprising he had nothing to do with) and then fled the scene in a blaze of glory.
23. Canceled exams all willy-nilly.
22. Discovered the Room of Requirement as a rogue bathroom and neglected to investigate further.
21. Knew that the best way to deal with unscrupulous characters (Quirrell, Malfoy, Tom Riddle) was to keep an annoyingly close eye on them and hope for the best.
20. He was just like a Russian doll of secrets.
19. Received a death sentence as a result of his own hubris and was just like “Yeah, I figured.”
18. Let a couple of kids mess with all manner of space and time to save a man’s life instead of doing it himself.
17. His favorite jam was raspberry. I’m not sure why, but this just screams Dumbledore.
16. Allowed Remus Lupin to come to Hogwarts when other headmasters would have said no. This isn’t a joke, that was just a really cool thing he did.
15. Trolled Umbridge so hard; she fired Trelawney and he immediately just came strolling out of the woods with a replacement teacher in the form a horse-man.
14. One time his entire speech was just “Nitwit! Blubber! Oddment! Tweak!”
13. Awarded points in a trivial school competition for things like “SAVING THE WORLD” and “DEFYING DEATH.” Personally I’m a little surprised he didn’t give Harry points for living while Cedric did not.
12. Also gave out points for friendship.
11. Ruled with not so much an iron fist as a hilarious one.
10. Was always threading an impressive needle between “benevolent mage” and “dubious puppet master.”
9. Let Harry, Hermione, Malfoy, and Neville go off into a dangerous forest full of smolderingly grumpy centaurs* with Hagrid as punishment for sneaking out after dark one time. I don’t want to tell you how to run a school, Dumbledore, but this is not how to run a school.
8. Made arbitrary rules like “STAY AWAY FROM THE THIRD-FLOOR CORRIDOR” without bothering to add “BECAUSE A THREE-HEADED DOG WILL EAT YOU.”
7. Guarded the Elixir of Life with a series of challenges that a group of kids blew through in about fifteen minutes.
6. Allowed Harry to destroy his office out of grief that one time.
5. Correctly assumed that Ron would be a big fussy baby about hunting for Horcruxes.
4. Never took the Minister of Magic job, presumably because he could hardly keep track of a handful of wayward schoolchildren, much less a whole country.
3. Told McGonagall to escort a black dog into his office and tell it he would “be with him shortly,” with no further explanation.
2. Genuinely cared about Harry but knew they both had a responsibility to end this war.
1. One time he made Snape pull a Christmas noisemaker with him and I still think this is the greatest thing he’s ever done. And yes, I’m counting “defeated Grindelwald” and “discovered the twelve uses of dragon blood” in that so don’t even ask.
*An earlier version of this post misidentified the creatures lurking in the Forbidden Forest as werewolves. While we have no way of knowing whether or not the Forbidden Forest did, in fact, contain werewolves, as it is a mysterious and fictional place, the centaurs are a certainty. —eds.